The middle of November brought a three-day weekend due to the Brazilian holiday of Dia da Consciência Negra. So, naturally, this little adventure-seeking-couple headed to the beach!
After less than three hours in the car, we arrived at the coastal town of Guarujá.
It is a long stretch of beach dotted with colorful umbrellas, open-air restaurants, and hotels. We stayed in one of those where we could literally walk out the front door, across the street, and onto the beach. Perfect location!
Friday night, we headed to a delicious Thai restaurant. So much so we returned there Sunday night for dinner. We ate on a quiet patio, overlooking the ocean, bathed in the subtle shifting light of sunset.
Saturday was an absolutely perfect day for the beach. Clear sky, warm sun, gentle breeze. Families played, dogs frolicked, birds squawked, and salty air renewed. We spent most of the day lounging, optimizing the chair service of food, drinks and views. We also enjoyed the tableside service of grilled cheese. No, not with bread. I’m talking Brazilian style, crispy on the outside chewy on the inside, delicious, addictive grilled queijo coalho. Beach-walking servers come to your real estate on the sand, take your order, place the cheese sticks on their portable grill, and then whip it around in the air. It tastes like magic.
Sunday was rainy, but we still took advantage of the beach. To our surprise, there was a triathlon happening that morning right outside our hotel. We watched that for quite awhile, inspiration rising within us both.
Since we’ve come back, Dave and I look at our trip to Guarujá as a turning point. Though Ilhabela was an adventure, it wasn’t quite the beach life of Brazil we were expecting. And the brutal commute didn’t help. But this road trip was relaxing and rejuvenating. We felt more comfortable in our skin in this foreign land.
We might just be getting the hang of this expat life.